The Attorney General appointed by the National Constituent Assembly, Tarek William Saab, informed this Monday, November 9, that he’ll prove before the International Criminal Court (ICC) that the Venezuelan State “punishes, sanctions and pursues” those who attempt against humanity in Venezuela.
Last week, the ICC informed Saab that the two inquiries about crimes against humanity in Venezuela were continuing.
“From our perspective, we will be able to prove that in our country, the acts of violence and human rights violations are investigating. They have been punished with the full strength of the law,” said the prosecutor in a press conference in which he offered a balance of his visit to the ICC last November 4.
On Monday, the same day of the press conference, the legal aid NGO Foro Penal reported that the Maduro regime keeps over 300 political prisoners.
The head of the Public Ministry assured that the institutions do not allow impunity in cases of human rights violations, whether committed by civilians or state officials.
Furthermore, Saab invited Bensouda to visit Venezuela so that she may “know how the investigations are carried out” in the country.
Denies crimes against humanity
At last Wednesday’s meeting, Bensouda told Saab that there are reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have occurred in Venezuela. However, the Maduro prosecutor said today that “it cannot typify that there are crimes against humanity” because the Constitution and the laws have prevented it. The ICC has been investigating the Maduro regime since early 2018.
The court opened a preliminary examination of Venezuela in February 2018 for alleged abuses by its security forces, both in the demonstrations that have taken place since April 2017 and continue to this day, as well as allegations of prison mistreatment and wanton arrest of political prisoners.
The Prosecutor of the ICC has requested from Venezuela information on “the relevant internal procedures and their conformity with the requirements of the Rome Statute,” the founding charter of the international court.
The ICC is a judicial instance of last resort, governed by the principle of complementarity, which means that it would not intervene if Venezuelan justice were to carry out genuine investigations of the facts under investigation.
If the Prosecutor’s Office of the international tribunal considers that these investigations are not genuine and the facts denounced are severe, the preliminary examination could become a formal investigation.
To the 2018 preliminary examination was added in February 2020, a report issued by Caracas assuring that the economic sanctions imposed by the United States against it are crimes against humanity.
The accusations against Venezuela in this matter by the ICC get supported by the different reports that the United Nations (UN) Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet, issued on the Caribbean country, especially regarding the abuses by the State security forces.
Likewise, the facts for which both the ICC and the UN accuse Venezuela get endorsed by different national and international NGOs dedicated to the surveillance of compliance and respect to the fundamental principles in this field.
Information from EFE.